This is a biopic of Gia Carangi, a
lively and rebellious girl who became a model, caught on because she was
something new, got caught up in the drug scene, started a downward
spiral of dependent behavior, and eventually died of AIDS-related
causes. The script was co-written by Jay McInerney, author of the
familiar novel "Bright Lights, Big City," and the semi-official
chronicler of the high life in New York in the 70's and 80's. OK, that's
good material to work with. McInerney is a literate and knowledgeable
observer of that scene, and Gia lived an interesting and tragically
short life, but .... unfortunately, they couldn't find any "hook" to
make it truly cinematic. It is just a pretty straightforward
made-for-cable recitation of the highlights of a life - more or less a
Of course, since Gia was a real person,
even the unembellished facts may hook you in, because the film captures
a time and a scene and a person you may be interested in. And there are
plenty of positives. The story does have the ring of truth to it; the
script presents Gia "scars and all"; Jolie is a charismatic (and daring)
performer; HBO did their usual classy job of producing; and some clear,
straightforward, and colorful photography created some beautiful images.
And yet, with biographical films I
always ask myself this: "If it weren't about a real person, would it
really be interesting enough to watch?"
My answer here: maybe not ...
... except for the Jolie/Mitchell nude
scenes, which are excellent.
Bottom line: if you want to be educated
about the life of Gia Carangi, and (more important) see Angelina Jolie
with her clothes off, then you may want to check it out.